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What to Expect when Taking a CEB's SHL-style Psychometric Test

What to Expect when Taking a CEB's SHL-style Psychometric Test
About to take one of CEB's SHL’s aptitude tests? This article will shed some light on the nature of these widely used tests, including links for further information about many of CEB's SHL’s role-specific tests.

Many applicants, fresh graduates and executive managers alike, often feel confused by CEB's SHL’s tests. The main reason for their difficulties is not necessarily the level of these tests. Rather, it is the need to quickly understand how to solve questions, which, in many cases, greatly differ from the types of questions they are familiar with.

If you do not want to be one of these startled candidates, make sure to get yourself familiarised with CEB's SHL’s tests beforehand. Knowing what to expect when taking these tests can improve your performance by reducing your tension as well as your response times. 

5 facts you should know about CEB's SHL-style tests

  1. CEB’s SHL offers dozens of different tests, which greatly differ in their type and difficulty level according to the industry and the level of the job in question. Thus, for instance, the verbal reasoning test delivered to senior managers is not only more difficult than the one delivered to graduates, but also requires different skills.
  2. The majority of CEB's SHL’s tests are computerised, delivered either online or at the recruiter’s office. Nonetheless, you may still come across a paper-based version of some of the tests. 
  3. CEB’s SHL employs a unique screening method in some of its tests, called the Verification method. According to this method, candidates first take an unsupervised online test and are later required to sit a supervised shorter version of the test to vouch for the reliability of their results. Learn more about CEB's SHL-style Verify tests.
  4. Most of the tests delivered by CEB's SHL have tight time limits, thus you are not necessarily supposed to complete answering all of the questions within the allocated time.
  5. The scores in CEB's SHL’s tests are relative. That is to say that your score is determined based on the comparison of your results to those of other people with similar educational background. To better understand how CEB's SHL’s tests are scored, you can read our dedicated article.

Where to find CEB’s SHL-style practice tests

CEB’s SHL encourages candidates to prepare for its tests, offering several example questions and practice tests on its website. These tests can be helpful if used for practising the basic concepts of different aptitude tests. However, many of our customers have fed back to us that the practice tests offered by CEB’s SHL do not necessarily correspond to its actual tests. In addition, the limited number of practice tests found in CEB's SHL’s website does not cover the wide range of tests actually offered by the company.

As a result, candidates relying solely on these tests as a source of preparation may have the illusion of knowing what to expect, only to find themselves surprised and confused when confronted by the actual test. 

So, how can you know what to expect?

As a first step, we strongly advise you to contact your recruiter and ask for more details about the test you will be required to sit (is it indeed a CEB's SHL’s test; what is its exact name; which level is it designated for – graduates, senior managers etc).

Once you have these details, try to look for information about the specific test you are about to take across the web. We recommend you to check out our website , where you can find numerous articles about CEB's SHL’s tests, such as:
In case you do not find what you are looking for, feel free to contact us at and we will do our best to help you.

Wish to practice for your upcoming test but not sure how to choose the best preparation resource?

Make sure to read our post about the 4 most important criteria for choosing a CEB’s SHL-style preparation pack.

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~ JobTestPrep Team ~